Santa Cruz County tells visitors to leave immediately

Santa Cruz County on Thursday asked that all tourists and visitors who are staying in local hotels, motels, or vacation rentals to leave town immediately. 

County officials said they are trying to free up shelter capacity as residents have been ordered to flee their homes due to the raging CZU August Lightning Complex. 

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With local shelters near capacity, the Santa Cruz County Emergency Operations Center (EOC)  is working with local agencies, including cities, colleges, and school districts to increase capacity. 

County officials said evacuees should first seek shelter with relatives or friends. The County is also asking social media leads for NextDoor, Facebook and other groups to help arrange shelter by requesting members with extra capacity to volunteer in-law units, spare bedrooms and even tents for evacuees.